Memeing What You Say: My People, My Home

There’s an Old Black Guy who stands outside the Journal Square Bus station in Jersey City station selling newspapers on the sidewalk every morning.  He greets everyone who walks past him with a hearty, “Good morning, and how are you doin’ this fine day?”  His voice is syrupy and friendly, but since he repeats that phrase to single person who passes by, the genuineness of the greeting quickly becomes lost in the rote citation.

One morning, an Old White Guy came up to the Old Black Guy and I overheard their conversation that I will share with you now.

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Did I Almost Blow Off My Left Arm in the Journal Square PATH Station?

There I was last week, all fresh and pressed and ready to teach my ASL course at CUNY when I stepped onto the 33rd Street PATH train at Journal Square and found a red, nylon, lunch bag — with a bottle of water hanging onto it from a mesh pouch on the outside — hiding under the train seat.

I immediately had a flashback to my childhood and wanting to help someone — and not to the unassailable advertising posted all over the PATH stations and television warning us that if you see an unattended bag, you need to immediately report it to the PATH authorities.  Since I had entered the first car, the engineer exited her locked control booth for a shift change, and I told her I found a bag on the floor.

She ignored me and walked off the train.

Continue reading → Did I Almost Blow Off My Left Arm in the Journal Square PATH Station?

Are Port Authority Trinkets Actually Disguised Terror Alerts?

Call me suspicious, but when I ride the PATH train system between New Jersey and New York and I see Port Authority workers handing out free trinkets again — I begin to wonder if these “Stay Alert!” free gifts are really a new terror threat warning system in disguise.  Last week was a trinkets bounty.

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PATH Behavior Semiotics

When the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — PATH — are forced to create cartoon posters inside their trains to train riders how to behave in public, we begin to wonder how and why we became such a debased society in need of such basic correction.

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Mass Transit Etiquette 101

Friends, we have come to a critical point in the history of the world. We have come to a point where mass transit is becoming even more easy to use and in many cases is considerably more affordable than other modes of transportation. That being said, I think we should be on the same page when it comes to what is okay and not okay when it comes to behavior while taking different sorts of public transportation.

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The Obama Bible and the Danger of Close Associations

Are we getting a little creeped out with Barack Obama’s obsession with linking his presidency to Abraham Lincoln’s?  I get the cultural and racial connection that binds them together in history, but imitating Lincoln’s train ride from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. for Obama’s inauguration seemed a bit much — until it was announced yesterday that Obama would be sworn in with his hand on the Lincoln Bible — and the whole shebang went over the top into silliness.  Here are some images of that Bible with some color correction to compensate for the overly golden tone of the official versions.

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Live Drama on the Newark Metro

During the Fall 2004 semester Dr. Robert Snyder, publisher of The Newark Metro — an online journal published by Rutgers-Newark University — asked me if I had any original student-created work that he could publish on the web as a “recorded live” theatrical performance.

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